Results tagged ‘ Bullpen ’

Well, Jamie has finally re-signed with the Phillies, and for two years. What was the hold up, Ruben?

During the 2 pm progress report on Chase Utley’s right hip, Phillies General Manager Ruben Amaro announced that the Phillies have re-signed veteran pitcher Jamie Moyer to a new two-year contract. The 22 years veteran went 16-7 for the Phils in 33 starts, with a 3.71 ERA in 2008, being the team leader in wins. In a two plus month period, from June 6 to August 21, he would give up three earned runs or less to opposing team. The soon to be 47 years old, has a record of 246-185 in 637 games (548 starts) with a 4.19 ERA, tied for 47th place on the all-time Major League wins list, while being presently third among active starters, with the recent retirement of Mike Mussina of the Yankees and Greg Maddux of the Padres/Dodgers. Since joining the Phillies in mid-2006, he has gone 35-21 with a 4.33 ERA in 74 starts, with the team going 46-28 (.622) in his starts, while pitching the divisional pennant clinchers in both 2007 and 2008, and having a good start in Game 3 of the World Series which the Phillies would win in dramatic fashion in the bottom of the ninth.

Moyer’s re-signing means that the first four spots in the Phils’ starting rotation (Cole Hamels, Brett Myers, Joe Blanton, Moyer) is now set, with the fifth and final spot now being an audition between Kyle Kendrick, J.A. Happ, prospect Carlos Carrasco and Chan Ho Park. Whether the Phils will continue to go after free agent Derek Lowe after signing Moyer and Park is a good question, especially when they should be looking out for a right handed power bat to help counter balance their recent signing of Raul Ibanez, and the obvious departure of Pat Burrell, to counter the presently loaded left-handed power of Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. But such a signing would serve notice to the rest of the National League East, after the Mets’ signing of free agent closer Francisco Rodriguez and their trade with Cleveland for J.J. Putz to be Rodriguez’s set-up man to better their weak bullpen, that the Phillies will be looking to repeat as the National League Champions with a very strong starting rotation.

Bullpen allows one to slip away as Cole Hamels is once again denied win no. 10.

The Phillies’ bullpen allows a win to slip away as another good outing by Cole Hamels is wasted as the Phillies lose to the Dodgers, 4-3. The Phillies would score their first run in the first inning, as Chase Utley, batting second against Dodgers’ starter Clayton Kershaw, would hit a solo shot, his thirtieth home run of the year, to give the Phillies a quick 1-0 lead. The Dodgers would tie the game in their half of the first, as, with two men on, and two outs, Casey Blake would hit a RBI single, scoring Matt Kemp, who has earlier doubled. The Phillies would retake the lead in the second when Cole Hamels would help his own cause by hitting a RBI single, knocking in Chris Coste, who has earlier singled and has gone to third on Eric Bruntlett’s single, giving the Phillies a 2-1 lead. The Phillies would increase their lead in the third as Pat Burrell would hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier doubled and then stole third, to make it 3-1 Phillies. The game would then become a pitchers’ duel between Kershaw and Hamels, with Kershaw confounding Phillies’ batters, as he would end up striking out eight Phils and not giving the Phils the clutch hit they needed to increase their lead, before he is finally lifted in the sixth. The Dodgers would make it 3-2 Phillies in their half of the sixth, as, with two men on, and one out, Manny Ramirez would hit a RBI single, scoring Juan Pierre, who has gotten on based earlier with a bunt single and has moved to second on Kemp’s single, while Kemp moved to second. After a Blake ground out, pitcher to first, for the second out of the inning would move the runners to second and third, Hamels would intentionally walk Nomar Garciaparra to load the bases. Hamels would then get out of the inning by getting Russell Martin to line out to Utley. After getting a 1-2-3 seventh, Hamels would be lifted for a pitch hitter in the eighth, handing the ball over to the normally spot on bullpen which, before last night’s game, had only blown eight save opportunities, the best in the National League. Well, the bullpen would blow their ninth save opportunity, as Chad Durbin would, with no one out, load the bases via a single (Kemp), a walk (Jeff Kent) and a hit batman (Ramirez). He would then give up a sacrifice fly to Blake, for the inning’s first out, scoring Kemp and leaving runners on first and second, tying the ballgame. He would then end the inning by getting Garciaparra to hit into a 6-4-3 double play. In the ninth, J.C. Romero, pitching in place of Durbin, would lead the inning off by hitting Martin on the foot. James Loney would then move Martin over to second as he grounds out, first to the pitcher, for the first out of the inning. Andre Ethier would then end the game with a walk-off single to left, scoring Martin, and giving the Dodgers a 4-3 victory.

Cole Hamels gets a no-decision as he is for the seventh straight start denied victory number 10. He would go seven innings, giving up only two earned runs on five hits, while striking out seven Dodgers. Chad Durbin receives his third blown save of the year as he goes an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit, a walk and a hit batter. J.C. Romero would take the lost as he goes a third of an inning, giving up an earned run on a hit and a hit batter. His record is now 4-4 with an ERA of 2.30. Clayton Kershaw would also get a no-decision as he pitches six innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits, while striking out eight. Joe Beimel would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Hong-Chih Kuo would get the win, as he pitches two innings, giving up no hits and no runs. His record is now 4-2 with an ERA of 1.70.

Once again the Phillies’ offense has hurt the team as it is unable to do anything after scoring its third run in the third. It didn’t do anything in the middle innings, and blew an opportunity with a runner on second and one man out in the sixth to do further damage. The lack of a pure contact hitter within in the bottom part of the line-up keep hurting them when they need such a hitter the most. Although the bullpen will be the one that folks will be pointing the finger at for the lost, the real culprit will be the still inconsistant offense.

The Phillies (64-55) will continue their four games series with the Dodgers (60-59, 2nd National League West) as they now look to split the series. The game will be played at Dodgers Stadium and will start at 10:10 pm Eastern (7:10 pm Pacific). The Phillies’ starter will be Joe Blanton (6-12 (1-0), 4.71), who is coming off a no-decision against the Pirates on August 8, where he threw seven shutout innings, giving up only one hit, in the Phillies’ 2-0 lost. Blanton will be looking to continue his present string of quality starts while hoping to give the Phillies their first win on the road trip while trying to muzzle Manny Ramirez’s hot bat. The Dodgers will be sending to the mound Brad Penny (6-9, 5.66), who is coming off a win against the Giants on August 8, after coming off the disabled list, where he went only five innings, giving up an earned run on one hit and walking three, in the Dodgers’ 6-2 win. He hopes to get his second straight win after coming off the dl which hoping the Phillies’ bat will continue being inconsistent.

With the lost, the Phillies’ lead over the Met shranked to one game, as they defeated the Nationals, and to one and a half games over the Marlins as they beat the Cardinals. The Phillies’ lead over the Braves is presently at eight and a half thanks to a rain out, but they are now playing a day/night doubleheader with the Cubs and are presently trailing them in the first game, 4-0 in the top of the fourth. The Phillies hope to come back from their second straight defeat to the Dodgers and try to salvage a series’ split while hoping that their opponents will not get any closer.

Phillies regain first place as Jamie Moyer defeat the Marlins for the tenth time as the Phils win 4-2.

Jamie Moyer defeats the Marlins for the tenth time in his career as the Phillies regain first place as they beat the Marlins, 4-2. The Phillies would score their first run in the second inning as Ryan Howard takes Ricky Nolasco deep as he would hit his major league leading twenty-ninth home run of the year, to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead. Two batters later, the Phillies would take a 2-0 lead, as Geoff Jenkins would hit a RBI single, knocking in Pat Burrell, who has earlier doubled. In the third, Chase Utley would get a RBI single, scoring Jimmy Rollins, who has earlier doubled, to make it 3-0 Phillies. In the fourth inning, Jenkins would make it 4-0 Phillies as he would hit a solo home run, his eighth home run of the year. The Marlins would try to come back in their half of the fourth. The inning would start with Moyer walking Hanley Ramirez. Jeremy Hermida would follow with a single, thanks to some miscommunication among the outfielders, which would end up sending Ramirez to third base. Jorge Cantu would then hit a RBI single, to make it a 4-1 Phillies’ lead, scoring Ramirez, and sending Hermida to second. Mike Jacobs would then follow with a single to right that would leave the bases loaded. Moyer would then buckle under and get Dan Uggla to hit into a 6-4-3 double play, that while scoring Ramirez to make it a 4-2 ballgame, and send Cantu to third, would break the back of the Marlins’ rally, as it would be the first two outs of the inning. Moyer would then get Josh Willingham to pop out to Howard to end the inning. That would end up being the game’s final score as Chad Durbin, J.C. Romero and Brad Lidge would combine to one hit the Marlins for the last three innings, with Lidge recording his twenty-first save of the year in twenty-one tries.

Jamie Moyer would get the win, going six inning, giving up only two earned runs on four hits. His record is now 9-6 with a 3.90 ERA. Chad Durbin (1.2), J.C.Romero (0.1) and Brad Lidge (1) would combine to keep the Marlins scoreless for the last three innings, while giving up only one hit between them, while Lidge would get his twenty-first save of the year. Ricky Nolasco would get the lost, as the Phillies would finally be able to score some runs off of him. He would go seven innings, giving up four earned runs on seven hits. His record is now 10-5 with a 3.78 ERA. Renyel Pinto would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Doug Waechter would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs on no hits. Joe Nelson would pitch a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.

The Phillies would start the second half on a winning note, although the offense would only get eight hits, but five of them would be for extra-bases (3 (2B), 2 (HR)). Ryan Howard would hit his ninth home run in his last thirteen games, as his adds to his lead in both home runs and RBIs (85). During the game, Charlie Manuel would get ejected for the second time this season because of his questioning the umpire’s call that Shane Victorino, as he attempted to bunt himself on, has offered at the pitch that hit him. The Phillies have in the meantime confirmed that the Blanton trade will send Adam Eaton to the bullpen, while Joe Blanton will be starting against the Mets this coming Tuesday.

The Phillies (53-44) will continue their three games weekend series with the Marlins (50-46) tomorrow with an afternoon game. The game will be played at Dolphin Stadium at 3:55 pm. The Phillies will start Kyle Kendrick (8-3, 4.47), who is coming off his second straight no-decision, this one against the Diamondback on July 11, as he goes six and one third innings, giving up four earned runs on nine hits, in the Phillies’ 6-5 win. Lifetime against the Marlins he is 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA in two starts. He will be trying for his ninth win of the year, while trying to increase the Phillies present winning streak to three games. He will be opposed by Scott Olsen (5-4, 3.77), who is coming off a victory over the Padres on July 9, where he went eight innings, giving up only one earned run on four hits, in the Marlins’ 5-2 win. He will be trying to get the Marlins back into the thick of the pennant race.

The Phillies’ win put them back into sole possession of first place, a full game ahead of the Mets, as the Mets lost their game to the Reds. The Marlins are now two and a half games behind the Phils in third place. The fourth place Braves are still six and a half games behind as they won their game. The Phillies will try to win their third straight series, while trying to increase their lead in the East. 

Phillies start off the second half of the season visiting the Marlins in Miami, trying to get their groove back.

The Phillies (52-44) will start the second half of the season with a three games weekend visit with the Marlins (50-45) in Miami. The first game of their three games series will be played at Dolphin Stadium and will start tonight at 7:10 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound the veteran Jamie Moyer (8-6, 3.95), who is coming off a recent victory against the Cardinals on July 10, where he went seven innings, giving up only one earned run on seven hits, in the Phillies’ 4-1 win. He has already faced the Marlins twice so far this year, winning both starts. In those two games, he has gone a combine total of fifteen innings, giving up just five earned runs on nine hits. He will be going for his ninth win of the season, while trying to start off the Phillies’ second half with a win. He will be opposed by Ricky Nolasco (10-4, 3.70), who is coming off fifth straight wins, although his last start was a no-decision against the Dodgers on July 12, where he went six innings, giving up just two earned runs on five hits, in the Marlins’ 5-3 win. In those five wins, he would go a combine total of thirty-seven and two-thirds innings, giving up only six earned runs on twenty-four hits. He has already faced the Phillies twice this year, winning both starts, going twelve and two-thirds innings, giving up only two earned runs on eight hits. He will be going for his eleventh victory of the season, while also trying to set the tone for the Marlins’ second half, especially after Andrew Miller has just been put on the disabled list.

As the Phillies get ready to start the second half, they have the knowledge that, like it or not, they are a rather good second half team. They also know that, with the Blanton trade, they now have an overabundance of starters, although not all of them are presently good (Adam Eaton and Brett Myers). The team hopes that either a returning Myers or the newcomer Blanton will become their number two starter, to help balance their ace Cole Hamels, while Jamie Moyer and a continuing to improve and impress Kyle Kendrick will become their no. 3 and 4 pitchers, respectively. And it is rather encouraging to learn that J.A. Happ, in his first start after being sent back to Lehigh Valley, has made a very strong statement to bring him back to the Majors, as he shut down the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees in seven innings of scoreless baseball. At this point, the odd men out appear to be Eaton and Myers, with Eaton being the most in danger of saying good bye to Phillies’ pinstripes at the moment. Myers would be next, especially as long as he continues to be a headcase if he doesn’t show any improvement after coming back from the Iron Pigs and Reading. But with all that said and done, the Phillies still need to find a new reliever, preferably a leftie, to help the bullpen pick up the slack while Tom Gordon is still out and to help take some of the pressure off him when he returns. Lastly, hopefully the All-Star break will have done most of the players some good, especially Jimmy Rollins, who the Phillies need to get on base to help jump start the offense. (Jay-Ro, a word of advice, please lay off the first few pitches that are thrown at you, unless you are very, very sure that you can hit it away from a fielder. That’s all I’m asking. Be more selective at the plate. Oh, and Ryan Howard, will you please stop swinging at pitches that you can’t reach. Please???? The sooner you do, the sooner the pitchers will stop throwing their junk at you.)

The Phillies will begin their second half now tied for first place with the Mets, who will be continuing a four games series with the Reds in Cincinnati. The third place Marlins are trailing both teams by a game and a half as they prepare to host the visiting Phillies. The fourth place Braves trails the two division leaders by six and a half game as they prepare to host the Nationals for three games. The Phillies hope to perform better against Eastern Division rivals that are not the Braves, while trying to get back sole control of first place against the presently streaking Mets and the pesky fish.

R.J. Swindle optioned back to Lehigh Valley, Joe Bisenius recalled before All-Star break.

Phillies recall Bisenius, option Swindle
Right-hander back in the Majors for first time this season

Phillies end slide, defeating the Cardinals, 4-2.

The Phillies end their four game losing streak, thanks to a good pitching effort by J.A. Happ, and two solo home runs in the eighth inning from Ryan Howard and Pedro Feliz as the Phillies defeat the Cardinals, 4-2. The game started out as a pitchers’ duel between Happ and Cardinals’ reliever Brad Thompson, who was pitching in relief of Mark Mulder, who had left the game in the first inning after hurting his elbow. This would end in the fifth, when, with one out and a runner on first, Jimmy Rollins would hit a RBI triple, scoring Carlos Ruiz, who has earlier singled, to give the Phillies a 1-0 lead. But Rollins would then be thrown out at the plate on a Shane Victorino fielder’s choice ground ball, shortstop Cesar Izturis to catcher Jason LaRue. Chase Utley would then hit a single, sending Victorino to second base. Ryan Howard would then follow with a single, scoring Victorino, to give the Phillies a 2-0 lead. In the seventh, as Happ stayed in the game to try and give the bullpen a rest, started the inning by getting Brendan Ryan to fly out for the first out. Itzuris would then get on base with a single. The next batter, Skip Schumaker, would follow with a ground-rule double, after Victorino tells the umpires that the ball had gotten stuck in the panneling, forcing Itzuris to go back to third. That would be it for Happ, as he is taken out of the ballgame by Charlie Manuel, to a standing ovation from the fans. Manuel replaces Happ with Chad Durbin. Durbin would walk Ryan Ludwick to load the bases. Albert Pujols would then hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Itzuris, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 2-1. Troy Glaus would then follow with a RBI single, scoring Schumaker, making it two all, while Ludwick and Glaus would both move up a base on the throw to the place. After intenionally walking Rick Ankiel, Durbin would finally end the inning by striking out Joe Mather for the third out. In the eighth, Howard would give the lead back to the Phillies as he would hit his twenty-fifth home run of the year, tying Chase Utley for the major league lead in home runs, a solo shot off of Cardinals’ reliever Kyle McClellan, making it 3-2 Phillies. Three batters later, with two men out, and Chris Perez now pitching for the Cardinals, Pedro Feliz would hit a solo home run, his eleventh home run of the year, to make it 4-2 Phillies. In the ninth inning, Brad Lidge would be sent out to save the game, which he would do, in spite of a attempt to tie the game by the Cardinals, as he would strike out Ankiel with two men on and two outs, to record his twentieth save of the year in twenty tires.

J.A. Happ would pitch an excellent game, although only receiving a no-decision as he goes six and one-third innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits and striking out five. Chad Durbin would receive his second blown of the season, as he pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. Clay Condrey would get the win as he pitches a scoreless, hitless inning as he strikes out the side. His record is now 2-1 with a ERA of 3.82. Brad Lidge would also go one inning, as he gives up no runs on no hits, walking two and striking out two. Mark Mulder would pitch only one third of an inning, walking two hitters and striking out one, before being taken out because of a bad elbow. Brad Thmpson would pitch four and a third innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits, getting a no-decision. Russ Springer would pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Jason Isringhausen would pitch an inning, also giving up no runs or hits. Kyle McClellan would take the lost, pitching an inning plus one batter, while giving up only one earned run on one hit, Ryan Howard’s solo shot. His record is now 1-4 with a 2.74 ERA. Chris Perez would also pitch an inning, also giving up an earned run on one hit, Pedro Feliz’s solo home run.

J.A. Happ has obviously been taking advice from Jamie Moyer, otherwise how else do you explain how he well he was able to keep the redbirds off-balanced until the seventh inning. It’s too bad that Durbin was unable to shut down the Cardinals after being called in to relieve Happ, especially since the Phillies plan to send him back to Lehigh Valley after the All-Star break to bring back Brett Myers. I for one will not be looking forward to that if the youngster continues pitching like a stud. Anyone out there have an idea on how to persuade the powers that be that it would be better for the team to keep the kid in the bigs after this performance? Meanwhile, the Phillies’ offense is still not scoring runs, even if Ryan Howard has just broke a team record of the most RBIs knocked in by a team player before the All-Star break, breaking Greg Luzinski’s old record with his eightieth RBI of the year. The offense really needs to knock in runs with man in scoring positions. Seriously.

The three games series between the Phillies (49-43) and the Cardinals (51-41, 2nd National League Central) will conclude tomorrow afternoon with a Business Person’s Special. The game will start at 1:05 pm Eastern at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies’ starter will be Jamie Moyer (7-6, 4.12), who is coming off a good start against the Mets on July 5, getting a no-decision as he goes six and two-thirds innings, giving up only three earned runs on seven hits, in the Phillies’ 9-4 lost. He will once again be trying for his eighth victory of the year, while hoping to help the Phillies win their first series at home since the series against the Reds. Braden Looper (9-6, 4.15), who is coming off a lost against the Cubs on July 4, where he would go seven innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits, in the Cardinals’ 2-1 lost. He will be trying once again for his tenth win of the season, while trying to stop the Phillies’ batters.

The Phillies’ victory will keep their lead over both the Marlins and the Mets at a game and a half as they both won their game. The Braves trail the Phillies by six games, as they lost their game to the Dodgers. The Phillies hope to keep their lead over the rest of the Eastern division, while trying to win the last two series on their home stand.

Bullpen loses second straight game as the Phillies fall once again to the Mets, 4-2.

The Phillies’ bullpen lose their second straight game as Chad Durbin gives up a two-run home run to Fernando Tatis in extra-innings, as the Mets beat the Phillies, 4-2. The game would be a pitchers’ duel for most of the day, as both Phillies’ starter Kyle Kendrick and Mets’ starter Oliver Perez would constantly pitch themselves out of trouble. The only run that would be scored off of either pitcher would be a solo home run off of Kendrick in the third inning by Carlos Beltran, his thirteen home run of the year, that would give the Mets a 1-0 lead. That would be the score until the top of the ninth, when, with Jose Reyes on third, after getting on base with a single, steal second and then move on to third on Endy Chavez’s sacrifice bunt, would score on Beltran’s RBI single off of Brad Lidge, giving the Mets a 2-0 lead. In the bottom half of the inning, with Mets’ closer Billy Wagner on the mound, Jayson Werth, with a runner on first, and two outs, would tie the ballgame with his twelfth home run of the year, scoring Shane Victorino, who has gotten on base earlier with a single. The game would go into extra-innings. In the twelfth inning, with Carlos Delgado on second, via a walk and a sacrifice bunt, Tatis would hit a two-run home run off of Durbin for his second home run of the year, and give the Mets a 4-2 lead. In the bottom of the twelfth, the Phils would be unable to get anything going after an single by Jimmy Rollins, as Mets’ reliever, Joe Smith would put down the next three hitters, preserving the win.

Kyle Kendrick will get a no-decision, as he pitched a good game, giving up only one earned on eight hits, as he would go six innings. Clay Condrey and J.C. Romero would then follow with a pair of scoreless innings, giving up one hit between them. Brad Lidge would go an inning, giving up an earned run on two hits. Ryan Madson would follow with a scoreless inning, giving up no hits. Chad Durbin would take the lost, as he goes two innings, giving up two earned runs on two hits. His record is now 2-2 with a 1.80 ERA. Oliver Perez would get a no-decision, as he pitches seven innings, giving up no runs on four hits. Duaner Sanchez, Pedro Feliciano and Aaron Heilman would each pitch a third of an inning, giving up no runs or hits. Billy Wagner would received his sixth blown save of the year, as his gives up two runs on three hits in one inning of work. Scott Schoeneweis pitches two-thirds of an inning, giving up no runs on two hits. Joe Smith would get the win, pitching two and a third innings, giving up no runs on one hit. His record is now 1-1 with a 3.22 ERA.

The Phillies’ offense once again stranded a large number of runners on base, although only doing so rather late in the ballgame as they were unable to do anything with Perez early in the game. Being unable to get a clutch hit hurt them, especially after the three hours plus rain delay help to ruin an attempt to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth. Meanwhile the bullpen will be reorganized for a while as Tom Gordon is placed on the fifteen-days disabled list because of a sore shoulder. They will have to find someone to perform the eighth inning set-up role with him out.

The Phillies (48-41) will tonight conclude their four games series with the Mets (44-44), trying for a series split. The game will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies’ starter will be Adam Eaton (3-6, 4.79), who is coming off a win against the Braves on July 2, where he went five plus innings, giving up only two earned runs on five hits, in the Phillies’ 7-3 win. He will be trying for his second straight victory while trying to end the Phillies’ present two games losing streak. His opponent will be Pedro Martinez (2-2, 7.39), who is coming off a no-decision against the Cardinals on July 2, as he would go only five innings, giving up five earned runs on seven hits, in the Mets’ 8-7 lost. He has lost his two starts before that one, giving up twelve earned runs on fifteen hits. He will be trying to win his third game of the year, while trying to help the Mets defeat the Phillies for the third straight time in this series.

The Phillies’ lead against the Marlins is now two and a half games as they’d won their game with the Rockies. The Mets, with the win, now trails the Phillies by three and a half games. The Braves trail by six games after their win over the Astros. As the Phillies and the Mets prepare to end their series, the Marlins prepare to start a three games series with the Pardes in San Diego, while the Braves prepare to start a three games series with the Dodgers in Los Angeles. The Phillies will be trying to regroup and attempt to rebuild their lead against their opponents in the East with tonight’s game.

Bullpen is unable to save the game as the Phillies fall to the Mets, 9-4.

For the first time in a long while, the Phillies’ bullpen have collectively let a ballgame get away as J.C. Romero and Tom Gordon would combine to blow a save as the Phillies lose to the Mets, 9-4. The Mets would score first in the first inning, as Jose Reyes, who has earlier singled, and then reached third on Ryan Church’s single, would score on a David Wright double play ball, 6-4-3, wiping out Church at second, to give the Mets a 1-0 lead. The Met would then increase their lead in the fourth, when, with runners on first and third, and one out, Jamie Moyer would pick off first base Carlos Beltran, who has just walked. But a Ryan Howard’s throwing error towards second would allow Wright, who has earlier doubled, and has reached third on a stolen base, to score, giving the Mets a 2-0 lead, while Beltran would be safe at second. Beltran would then score on a RBI single by Damion Easley, giving the Mets a 3-0 lead. The Phillies would come back in their half of the fourth, as Howard would hit a three-run home run, his twenty-third home run of the year, scoring Shane Victornio, who has earlier been hit by the pitch, and Chase Utley, who has just walked, to even the score at three. It would remain tied until the bottom of the seventh, when pinch hitter Jayson Werth would hit a RBI single to score Eric Bruntlett, who was pinch running for Pat Burrell. who has earlier singled, to give the Phillies the lead at 4-3. But, Werth would then be thrown out at second, catcher Ramon Castro to second baseman Easley, when he tried to move up to second on the throw to home, ending the inning. The Phillies then gave it to the bullpen to try and close the door. Unfortunately, the bullpen would be unable to do so. With one out, J.C. Romero would give up singles to Easley and Carlos Delgado, which would put runners on the corners. Charlie Manuel would then quickly replace Romero with Tom Gordon. While pitching to Marlon Anderson, Gordon would uncork a wild pitch, which would score Easley, tying the game at four all, and send Delgado to second. After Anderson walks, Endy Chavez would ground out to Howard, moving the runners to second and third base with two outs. Pinch hitter Brian Schneider would then hit a pinch hit double, scoring both Delgado and Anderson, and giving the Mets a 6-4 lead. Then in the ninth, with Rudy Seanez on the mound, pinch hitter Fernando Tatis would start the inning off with a pinch hit double. After moving up to third on a Wright ground out to third, he would score on a ball hit back to Seanez, which he would be unable to field for an error, allowing Beltran to reach first safely, and giving the Mets a 7-4 lead. Easley would then follow with a single, moving Beltran to second. Delgado would then follow with a single, loading the bases. Anderson would then hit a ground ball to second, that would lead to Delgado being thrown out at second for the second out of the inning, as Beltran scores, and Easley moves up to third on the fielder’s choice, making it 8-4 Mets. Easley would then score the Mets’ final run on a RBI single by Chavez. That would be it, as Tony Armas would come in to pitch a 1-2-3 ninth inning.

Jamie Moyer would get a no-decision, as he pitches a quality start, going six and two-thirds innings, giving up only three earned runs on seven hits. Ryan Madson would pitch a third of an inning, getting out the only batter that he would face. J.C. Romero, would take the lost, going one-third of an inning, giving up two earned runs on two hits. He record is now 4-2 with an ERA of 2.43. Tom Gordon will receive a blown save, his first of the year, as he goes two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. Rudy Seanez would go two-thirds of an inning, giving up three earned runs on four hits. Clay Condrey would pitch a third of an inning, retiring the only man that he would face. John Maine would also get a no-decision, as he leaves the game after having pitched five and two-thirds inning, and with the count 2-2 on Ryan Howard, because of an injury to his non-pitching elbow. He has given up three earned runs on just one hit, Howard’s home run, when he was replaced by Aaron Heilman, who would then strike out Howard on one pitch, who would turn out to be the only man that he would face. Joe Smith would pitch two-thirds of an inning, giving up an earned run on one hit. Pedro Feliciano would get the win, as he would pitch only a third of an inning, giving up no runs on one hit. His record is now 1-2 with an ERA of 2.91. Duaner Sanchez would pitch an inning of scoreless ball, giving up just one hit. Tony Armas would pitch a 1-2-3 ninth to end the game.

The Phillies’ offense was only able to get four hits tonight, even if one of them, Howard’s three-run home run, did bring in a few runs. Moyer had another quality start, but the bullpen did something that it has not done at all this year, be unable to protect a lead late in the ballgame. Unfortunately, it was bound to happen, and hopefully there will not be a repeat performance during the rest of the series.

The four games series between the two rivals will continue tomorrow afternoon from Citizens Bank Park with the third game of their series. The game will begin at 1:35 pm Eastern, The Phillies (48-40) will send to the mound Kyle Kendrick (8-3, 4.58), who is coming off a victory over the Braves on July 1, where he went six plus innings, giving up only three earned runs on seven hits, in the Phillies’ 8-3 win. He will be trying for his ninth win of the year, hoping to make it three straight wins in a row, while trying to get even with the Mets for his early season defeat at their hands. The Mets (43-44) will counter with Oliver Perez (6-5, 4.98), who is coming off a win against the Yankess on June 29, where he went seven innings, giving up just an earned run on three hits, in the Mets’ 3-1 win. He will be gunning for his seventh win of the year whle trying to get the Mets back into the pennant race.

In spite of the lost, the Phillies’ lead is still three and a half games over the Marlins as the fish have once again lost to the Rockies. The Mets now trail the Phillies by four and a half games with tonight’s win. The Braves still trail by seven games as they have lost their game to the Astros. The Phillies will be trying to regroup, so that they can do some more damage and add on to their lead in the Eastern Division.

Versatile Durbin a key to Phils’ early success.

Durbin adds versatility to Philly ‘pen
Right-hander has important experience relieving and starting

Back home just in time to welcome the World Champion Red Sox. Phils resumes Interleague Play.

The Phillies (41-30) will start a six games home stand and the resumption of their involvement in Interleague Play tonight by hosting the World Champion Boston Red Sox (44-28, 1st American League East) for three games. The series’ opener will be played at Citizens Bank Park and will start at 7:05 pm Eastern. The Phillies will send to the mound their ace Cole Hamels (6-4, 3.27), who is coming off a no-decision against the Marlins on June 11, where he went eight innings, giving up only two earned runs, both on solo home runs to Jorge Cantu, on three hits, in the Phils’ 6-2 lost. In his previous start against the Reds on June 5, he would pitch a complete game shut out as he gave up only three hits to the Reds, in the Phils’ 5-0 victory. This will be his first time facing the BoSox, so he will be seeing how well he pitches against an elite team of the American League while trying to get his own team back on the winning track after suffering a couple of tough loses over the weekend. His opponent will be Bartolo Colon (4-1, 3.41), who is coming off a win against the Baltimore Orioles on June 11, where he pitched six innings, giving up an earned run on five scattered hits, in the Red Sox’s 6-3 win. In his five starts, Bartolo has given up three earned runs or less in all but one of his starts. Lifetime against the Phillies, he is 1-1 with a 4.00 ERA in four starts, while this will be his first start at Citizens Bank Park. He will be trying to pitch his team past the Phils so that they can stay ahead of the surprisingly good Tampa Bay Rays.

The Phillies will be looking to regroup after losing their last two series on their recent nine games road trip, especially after yesterday’s lost to the Cardinals thanks to a pair of misconnections between Chase Utley and Tom Gordon with two men out in the bottom of the tenth which allowed the Cardinals to win the extra-inning game. The offense will be trying to once again score a lot of runs like they were doing several weeks earlier. With their upcoming series against the BoSox and the Angels, the Phillies will be seeing if they can compete with a pair of elite teams in the American League, whom they might be playing against if they get into the World Series later this year, as well as to see if any problem that they might have will be exposed now so that they can be plugged up later before the late summer and September stretch run towards the pennant.

Oh, and it seems that Cardinals’ catcher Yadier Molina has only received a concussion from his close encounter with Eric Bruntlett, but he was kept in the hospital for overnight observation, just in case. Thanks goodness. I hate to see a ballplayer get injured, no matter what the cause, or which team they play for.

Going into tonight’s game, Cole Hamels is among the National League leaders in Earned Run Average (10th), Strikeouts (4th-T), Innings Pitched (4th), Complete Games (1st-T) and Shut Outs (1st). He is also tied for 17th in Wins (6) and is tied for 16th in Games Started (14). As mentioned earlier, he will be trying to help his team defeat an elite team of the American League while improving on his stats in each category.

Inspite of the lost, the Phillies have at present the third best record in the National League, trailing only the National League Central leading Chicago Cubs (45-25), and the St. Louis Cardinals (42-29). In fact, they are at present the only National League teams to have won 40 or more games so far this season. Only three other teams in the majors have won over 40 or more games: Boston, the American League Western leading Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (42-28) and the Tampa Bay Rays (40-29). They have the best road record in the National League (20-17) and one of the best record at home (21-13). Only one other team has scored more runs than they have in the NL, the Chicago Cubs (387 (Cubs), 381 (Phils)). They are also the third best team in the NL in giving up the least runs (291), with only the Cubs (279) and the Braves (282) being better. The offense has the fifth best batting average in the NL at .264, while they are among the leaders in Slugging Percentage (1st), On-Base Percentage (4th), Walks (5th), Total Bases (1st), Runs Batted In (2nd), Home Runs (2nd), Doubles (3rd), Hits (4th) and At-Bats (3rd). The Phillies have the fourth best team ERA (3.82) in the NL, while the relief corps still has the best team ERA (2.62).

The Phillies lead the second place Marlins by three games, as they prepare to start a three games series against the Seattle Mariners in Seattle. The third place Braves, after their late lost to the Angels, are still six and a half games behind the Phillies, as they prepare to face the Rockies in Denver for a make up game, before starting a three games series against the Texas Rangers in Arlington. The fourth place Mets also trails the Phillies by six and a half games, as they get ready to meet the Angels in Anaheim for a three games series. The Phillies hope to hold their own against the World Champions, to win the series, while trying to once again get some more distance betweeen themselves and the other teams in their division.

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